Are You an Entrepreneur or a Workaholic?

Oct 10, 2023 | Growth Tips, Leadership, Management, Peer Groups, Planning, Productivity, Strategy

Last week I was in Cape Cod leading one of my high-impact peer groups.

The host (Dustin Wolfe, Artistic Grounds) set us up in a very fine resort.

We really got to enjoy the Cape Cod life. He even served us a variety of oysters and champagne tastings for one our evening appetizers. Classy!

Dustin has worked extremely hard to build his business, doubling it the last few years. Everyone was awed by his company’s high quality stone work and his commitment to training and development.

In discussing fast growth, I recognized there are two types of hard workers: Workaholics and Entrepreneurs.


Here are some criteria that define this type:

  • Nonstop work 6+ days a week
  • Very few vacations, and possibly only in off season
  • Not many hobbies.
  • Family life does not come first.
  • Always on call.

What got you here, won’t get you there.

It used to be that all entrepreneurs were workaholics (just work harder!)

But things have evolved.

Workaholics may succeed early on, but then they plateau because of their approach.

They tend to breed inefficient mini-me’s who then burn out.


…are a different breed, they:

  • Understand the “work hard play hard” balance
  • Use delegation to take successive responsibilities off their plate.
  • Hire A and A+ players so that growth is not stopped by the Peter Principle (definition below)
  • Set up systems, measure on results.

Peter Principle: “Employees rise to their level of incompetence”, meaning:

  • They are promoted based on their current performance rather than the skills needed for the higher job, or
  • They are hired based on current needs, not future needs.

Which are you – Workaholic or Entrepreneur?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell, it’s such a grind.

We all work hard to build a business. but are you showing a healthy return-on-investment for your time and money?

Is the business (or department) you are building sustainable without you?

Your Challenge: Pressure Test Your Business!

Build a business that relies on others. Measure success based on what others are achieving. And then..

Pressure Test Your Organization: Take frequent breaks and periodic vacations, even in season. Don’t check in, let them call you if needed.

See how well the organization does under pressure.

When you return, review the results and find the cracks in the system.

Look for opportunities to upgrade your systems, and sometimes your entire business model.

As our peer group discussed, it takes mental discipline to truly let go.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!

Regards, Jeffrey Scott

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